July Gardening Tasks

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As in my earlier blog site, I posted a monthly list of garden tasks for the Northern California area. Since so many of the followers asked for it (especially when I posted late), I decided to continue the monthly garden task list.  In July it is hot, hot, and then a little more hot.  Nevertheless, there are always chores to be done when you garden. 

  • This month is the time to clear out the non-productive plantings and make soil additions. I am adding an extra layer of peat moss to my garden soil to assist with nutrients and help break up the sun’s hardened ground.  After the old plants are removed, work in the new additions, whether it is peat moss or more of the compost. (I will repeat the posting on “loving your compost pile” later this month. 
  • When getting ready for the fall months, this month is the time to plant broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, parsnip, peas, carrots, radishes, and turnips.
  • Be on the watch for the Harlequin Beetles. It is important spray the ground before planting with a mixture of ½ cup dawn dish soap mixed in a quart jar of water to kill off any eggs previously in the soil or those little critters looking for a home.  I suggest that you do this early in the morning or late in the evening.  This formula will kill unwanted bugs, but will also destroy our hardworking bees, so spray when the bees are bedded down for the night.
  • If you didn’t do it last month, there is still time to cut back your Daisy’s for a second growth and blooming.
  • Change your lawnmower blades to high. The hot weather causes turf stress. The taller grass levels help to conserve water during the summer. Always mow early in the morning or late evening to reduce the chance of brown spots in your lawn.
  • Prune oleanders after blooming. These bushes can get quite messy and should be cut back down as close to the ground. Pruning encourages more new growth and gets rid of the old dead growth.
  • I always leave one basil plant for the bees. I let it flower and go to seed. They love the fragrance and are attracted to the sweet smell. 
  • On the other Basil plants, I prune the flowering branches as soon as I see them forming. This pruning and pinching back encourages the plant to bush out and grow larger.
  • Put out water for the bees, and other pollinators, near the garden. An extra safety float (small piece of wood) allows them a place to land without falling into the water.
  • When you first see the small fruits on your trees, pick the smaller ones from the clusters so the others can grow larger.  This act of thinning is better for the plant as it can concentrate on building more substantial fruit quality rather than on quantity. If the limbs on your fruit tree start to sag, prop them up using notched wood or older forked tree branches to give them support.
  • The end of this month is the time to look at pruning your summer fruit trees.
  • It is essential to continue watering your plants. Tomatoes and eggplants need consistent watering, not flooding, or allowing to dry up.  As usual, the squash is prolific.  In the recipes section, there are recipes on using the bounty from your garden.
  • Happy Growing!

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